For anyone considering volunteering.
on Rachel Gates (Indonesia), 07/May/2011 02:46, 34 days ago
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I am putting this on my blog, as I think it helps put into perspective how different people view volunteering and the different motivations people to choose to volunteers. It also demonstrated a the different views of life we have and what we expect from life.I must emphasize the the views that I express in my blog are solely my own, but I feel I have a responsibility to put this on here, so people considering volunteering the future know the kind of issues that they may come across.All three points in a response to a meeting help by volunteer representatives.Point one. How Volunteers are talking about Indonesia. I cannot believe anyone who has been through the assessment process in their home country and undertaken the in country training can act in such a manner.Fundamental to the process of becoming a volunteer is to understand cultures and taking your time to learn about local cultures and learn to work within them. Yes they may be frustrating, but as a volunteer you are a guest in this country.To come here with idealised views about some perfect utopia is not professional when you are working in the field of development. All of the countries that we come from have faults.Point Two. How can volunteers be coming to Indonesia to work and not realise they will have to speak Indonesian! It is clearly highlighted in all information received before you come to Indonesia. Surely the reason we are here is to learn about different cultures, learn a different language and broaden our horizons from the lives we live back home. Learning a language is hard, I am definitely not a natural, however now that I can converse on a basic level my quality of life here and my ambitions for the future have grown dramatically.Point Three. As volunteers– who have agreed to live here on a basic salary like local people and live like local people, we are not doing a very good job. Again and again I see issues being raised about lack of money and living conditions or can we fly instead of having to travel for 14 hours overland? Why! You have agreedto live here under the local conditions, so now get on with it!Then you can experience the local culture, you can also experience that life is like living in a place where a majority of people will never even get near to having enough money to be able to get on an aeroplane. If you are in the fortunate position where you have the opportunity to travel across Flores, one of the most beautiful Islands in the world take the opportunity and make the most of it. You even get to stop the trip half way and meet up with other volunteers and share some stories.Not everyone has this opportunity whilst they are here.I know life can be tough...but it is nowhere near as tough as the majority of the population of this world who will never get the experiences or the quality of life that you are having now.